Travel bosses party with Peter Andre after scooping top award


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Bosses from a North Wales-based independent travel agency partied with Peter Andre after scooping a top award for the third year running at a prestigious industry conference.

Don Bircham and Lindsey Barber of Hays Travel North West, which has its head office in Wrexham and runs stores across North Wales including Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Mold, Flint and Connah’s Quay met the Mysterious Girl singer at the Jet2 VIP conference for independent travel agents held this year in Calpe, on Spain’s south eastern coast.

The three-day conference recognises the hard work and commitment of the best independent travel agents throughout the UK. Hays Travel North West took one of the main prizes during the awards evening for the best large independent travel agency in the UK, winning it for the third consecutive year.

They received their award from the popular performer and TV personality himself and went on to enjoy many of the celebratory events laid on as part of the trip, including a fancy dress party and the awards gala dinner.

Don, who set up his business in 2000 with one store in Mold, North Wales, and now runs almost 40 stores across the North West and North Wales region, said: “Peter was fantastic and really great fun.

“He came and sat next to me and Lindsey on the plane on the way over where we chatted to him and then I sat on the same table with him during the awards dinner.

“He came across as the most genuine guy and we chatted about all sorts. We talked about our families and he told me about his own and how much they meant to him.

“He told me he came from a very stable and loving family which had helped him a lot with the demands of fame and he just said he was loving his life and enjoyed being involved with so many varied projects in his work life.

“What struck me is that he took a real interest in the people around him, asking them all sorts about them and their family, as well as talking about himself and his own life, which of course, most of us were very interested to find out!”

His colleague Lindsey agreed and said; “He was lovely, he was polite, so sociable, professional and a very caring guy who really seemed interested in everybody.

“He asked us about the business and what we do, where our shops are, that sort of thing and he just mixed in with everybody with no airs and graces whatsoever. It was a real pleasure to meet him.”

Don and Lindsey were joined on the trip by Hays Travel North West Regional Manager Toni Smith and manager of the firm’s Maghull store in Merseyside, Emma May. They were among more than 300 top performing agents and delegates taken out to the AR Diamante Beach & Spa in Calpe, Costa Blanca, by tour operator Jet2 which is the second largest tour operator in the UK.

Hays Travel North West is the main partner of Hays Travel, based in Sunderland, which is the UK’s largest independent travel agency. The firm’s owners, John and Irene Hays recently took over all 555 Thomas Cook stores following the collapse of the well-known travel brand.

Don said: “The Hays Travel brand just goes from strength to strength and winning awards like this underlines our commitment to providing top class holidays from reputable operators such as Jet2.

“It highlights the fact we have a valued relationship with one of the UK’s largest tour operators and our support of them is important for ensuring we are able to offer the best range of holidays to our customers, which is ultimately one of the most important things for the business.”

His colleague Lindsey agreed and said: “The award recognises the hard work and capabilities of the whole team in working with operators such as Jet2 to ensure we are providing the best spread of holiday options possible for our valued customers.”

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